Teaching Life Skills

I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s important to teach our children practical life skills and values. In homeschooling we have the opportunity and the time to do this.

So what are you teaching your children right now….and what would you like to teach them in the future?

I’ve compiled a list of just some of the life skills my husband and I are trying to instill in our children.

Communication Skills

It’s important that people learn how to effectively communicate with one another verbally, and in the written form.  We’re teaching our kids to –

    • Be truthful – as your word means everything
    • Speak kindly – don’t intentionally cause harm with your words
    • Say please, thank you, no thank you, etc. – because everyone appreciates good manners
    • While words are important, your actions carry even more weight
    • Be able to organize and concisely write your thoughts on paper
    • Realize that what you write may be read by many people, including unintended readers
    • Be careful what you write/post on social network sites

Relationship Skills

We’re emphasizing the following –

    • The Golden Rule is really golden
    • Similarly, empathy is very important
    • We want our kids to recognize and value kindness. We do not want them to confuse kindness with weakness
    • Reliability is held at a premium. We don’t know anyone that doesn’t value reliability
    • There is no such thing as being too kind or too reliable
    • We all need to value other people’s time
    • Treat other people’s property as if it’s your own – or even better
    • Be gentle, loving and kind to those that love you
    • Love individuals for their faults as well as their strengths
    • Always treat animals kindly
    • If something doesn’t feel right, trust yourself – you have instincts for a reason
    • Admit when you’re wrong
    • It really is more fun to give than to receive
    • Don’t friend people on social media that you don’t know

Daily Life Skills

These skills are certainly important, and my husband and I are teaching our kids to –

    • Know your way around computer hardware and software (OK – I admit it – my kids are teaching me just as much as I am teaching them on this subject)
    • Have the ability to understand basic car mechanics (my husband is teaching this)
    • Be able to fix minor things around the house (again, my husband is teaching….and I’m learning too)
    • Know how to do the wash, sew on a button, and iron a garment (I haven’t ironed in years….but I know how)
    • Crochet.  Not originally on my list – but my son wanted to make his own beanies, so this has been added.  Of course, listen to your kids and help them learn things that are important to them.
    • Make good food choices, in and outside of the home (something we’re all working on)
    • This isn’t really a daily life skill, but I didn’t know where else to put it – my kids are learning to dance – with a partner.  I’ve invested in six months of dance lessons for each child. It’s a little old school…..I know.
    • Similarly, all of my kids have at least one year of music lessons. My daughter hasn’t taken to music but she can manage a few songs on the piano. My son loves music and has replaced video game time with guitar time.

Financial Skills

We’re teaching our kids to –

    • Understand the value of money and know how to make a dollar go a long way
    • Know the difference between needs and wants
    • Know how to budget and live within your means
    • Know how to save for a rainy day, and for special items
    • Know when you can splurge and when you can’t
    • Understand and appreciate (the magic of) compound interest
    • Understand both the importance and the pitfalls of credit
    • Understand FICO scores and how to increase your FICO score

In conclusion, I have two questions for you:

What are you presently teaching your kids? And what do you want to teach your children? Think about it. Then add these new skills to your homeschool schedule.

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